Appealing Cape Liptrap and Walkerville

For a day trip from Phillip Island, Cape Liptrap and Walkerville give you the dramatic scenery of Cape Liptrap plus the pretty beaches and history of Walkerville.

And all this while travelling through the lovely green countryside of Gippsland.

From Phillip Island follow the Bass Highway to Wonthaggi then to Inverloch. From Inverloch follow the signs on the C442 to Tarwin Lower and Venus Bay.

Before Tarwin Lower, enjoy a stop along the Tarwin River, a popular fishing spot. There are several boardwalks along the river’s edge with picnic tables.

Tarwin Lower is about 45 minutes from Phillip Island.

At the entrance to Tarwin Lower, watch for the sign to Cape Liptrap (C443) which is off to the left.

For visitors travelling with young children there is a playground and toilets on the right just after this turn.

Cape Liptrap Lighthouse and rocky coast

Historic Cape Liptrap Lighthouse and Rocky Coastline

Look for the brown tourist sign Cape Liptrap Trail 97.

The road to Cape Liptrap and Walkerville is a chance to see wildlife – we have seen wombats grazing along the roadside, oblivious to the traffic. Kangaroos and echidnas may also be sighted.

When you arrive at the sign to Walkerville North and Walkerville South, follow the Tourist Trail 97 directions and turn right towards the heritage Cape Liptrap lighthouse and Walkerville lime kilns.

You are now in the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park

The road to the lighthouse is just a couple of kilometress further on. Turn right and follow this road, which soon becomes gravel. It is about 8 kilometres to the lighthouse.

There are tantalising glimpses through the roadside vegetation to Waratah Bay.

Look for the avenue of banksia trees, arching over the road.

From the car park, the lighthouse is a walk of only 2 or 3 minutes.

Stop at the lookout to see the rugged rock formations far below along the coast.

The dangers of the sea are apparent – rocks, plus the Bass Strait swell and wild weather causing several ships to come to grief.

The Cape Liptrap lighthouse was built in 1913 – complementing the lighthouses at Wilsons Promontory and surrounding islands.

It was the first unattended lighthouse built by the Commonwealth.

The current concrete lighthouse was built in 1951 but some of the steel elements of the original remain.

Around the base of the lighthouse there are several viewing spots with views over Bass Strait where  ships can be seen going to and from the port of Melbourne.

On a clear day the views over Waratah Bay to the peaks of Wilsons Promontory are wonderful.

In the coastal heath bids twitter and flit. Listen to their birdsong and indulge in some birdwatching –  there are lots of wrens and shrike-thrushes.

Cape Liptrap Lighthouse

Historic Cape Liptrap Lighthouse

Backtrack to the sign to the historic lime burning kilns - about 6 kilometres along a gravel road in Walkerville South.

Note that there is no through road to Walkerville North.

Walkerville South is about 100 kilometres from Phillip Island.

There is a walking track from Walkerville South to Walkerville North – this 800 metres walk is not suitable for prams or wheelchairs.

It is an interesting walk with views over the pretty beach to Wilsons Promontory.

Walk back to Walkerville South via the beach if the tide is low – the best views of the kilns are from the beach.

Lime Burning Kilns at Walkerville South

Old Lime Burning Kilns at Walkerville South

Limestone was discovered here in 1875 with the first lime burning kiln built in 1878.

The town became a thriving port with the burnt lime shipped to builders in Melbourne and Sydney.

The kilns were closed in 1926 due to reduced demand and the cost of transportation to the cities.

The huge remnant structures left today are a fascinating reminder of the significance of the industry to the area.

After admiring the kilns and the scenic bay, make the short drive to Walkerville North.

At the caravan park there is a kiosk where visitors can buy hot or cold food and drinks.

Near the park entrance there are picnic tables. Note that there are no rubbish bins in the coastal park – please take your rubbish home.

Toilets are found just a bit further south along the road near the community hall.

Humpback whales are often sighted in Waratah Bay during the winter migration to the warmer waters of Queensland.

Pretty Walkerville South Beach

Pretty Walkerville South Beach

After visiting Cape Liptrap and Walkerville, return to the main road and follow the signs to Fish Creek (20km). Watch for crimson rosellas foraging for seeds on the roadside.

Fish Creek has several cafes and art/craft shops as well as a stunning example of Art Deco design in the Fish Creek Hotel.

Follow the signs to Meeniyan.

This is a convenient stop for a reviving coffee. The town centre is quite compact with toilets, cafes, shops and galleries all in close proximity.

For a tea or coffee try The Antique Shuffle for a coffee shop with a difference.

Another interesting stop is The Meeniyan Store which, apart from the café, sells only Gippsland produce. There are lots of gourmet goodies from which to choose a treat to take home as a souvenir of your trip.

From Meeniyan take the South Gippsland Highway to Koonwarra.

Turn left onto the Inverloch Road and at about 4 kilometres, stop at the Lyre Bird Hill Winery for a tasting. Or enjoy a glass of wine with Gippsland cheeses on the lawn next to the grapevines.

This is a perfect way to end your day trip to Cape Liptrap and Walkerville before heading back to Phillip Island via the Bass Highway.

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